Los Angeles, CA–The City of Los Angeles will not have to complete the annual homeless count next year, after their continuum of care waiver request was approved by the Department of Housing and Urban Development. The Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority cited the coronavirus as affecting LAHSA’s ability to conduct a proper count, which happens at the beginning of the year.
In a press release LAHSA also cites a lack of planning to recruit volunteers, an inability to acquire the proper PPE equipment needed, as well as consulting with community and board members. According to LAHSA, the decision did not come easy and they plan to provide a more accurate report in 2022.
In 2020, LAHSA reported 66,436 who were experiencing homelessness in Los Angeles County–a 12.7% rise from last year. The city of Los Angeles saw a 16.1% rise to 41,290.
In 2019, The New York Times wrote an article on how the affects of institutional racism in L.A is burdening many African-American men, specifically from South Central, which is manifested in ways such as homelessness and drug addiction.
“Yet it does not affect everyone equally. The historic displacement and fracturing of black communities in South Los Angeles have pushed black Angelenos like Mr. Wynn onto the streets at more than eight times the rate of other groups. In interviews with more than a dozen black men who are homeless in Los Angeles, the bitter inheritance of racism came up again and again,” (New York Times).
In 2018, the committee studying Black homelessness on behalf of LAHSA, submitted their report and recommendations on addressing the alarming rates of Black homelessness in Los Angeles. Black people are said to represent around 30%-40% of the homeless population in L.A, despite representing only 8% of the overall population.
“A theme that cut across the Committee’s work was the acknowledgement that racism has contributed to, and remains intertwined with, homelessness. As such, ending homelessness will require a collective commitment to dismantling racism and addressing racial disparities, and sustained support from funders, policymakers, mainstream systems of care, service providers, and community partners,” the committee details in their report.”